Archive for March, 2010

dband blog

March 29, 2010 Leave a comment

My son-in-law’s band is putting out a serious product these days.  Much of what is on his heart for Desperation Band is around orphan support.   Scope out their blog.  There is lots of fun stuff to check out on the website.  If you don’t know their music, it’s also worth checking out!  CLICK HERE!!!

see the LIGHT UP THE WORLD video here!!!


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protocol and honor

March 28, 2010 1 comment

As the number of spiritual children increase around Patti and myself, we notice that we are invited into more and more courtship situations on a daily basis.   Having raised two natural daughters and a few other spiritual sons and daughters, I have some history in these waters.  Protocols around dating, courting and even the asking for a woman’s hand in marriage is vitally important.  The men who married my daughters did it right.  It made stepping through the doors of “transference of headship” so easy and even enjoyable!  It was a holy moment in time when they asked for their hand and heart.  Patti and I both had so much respect for them because of how they honored our daughters and us.  They got the seriousness of what they were asking us for.  So briefly, let me just issue a flat statement on these protocols and here is hoping it lands with impact and precision.

“Sir, thank you for taking the time to come and talk to me (us).  The fact that my daughter is attached to you is the only comfort I personally have in this matter.  Spiritual fathers (if I am truly that) are usually ready to release their daughters when it bears witness in his own spirit that the man a daughter is attracted to is living in destiny, submitted to headship, under apostolic authority, free of church religion and has shown by many trials that he is faithful, capable and able to provide, protect and lead that daughter.

I am at a disadvantage here.  I may not know you.  So, there really isn’t anything you can “tell” me about yourself that will give me a sense of peace in this.  I can’t really be sold on the ideal of this.  For me to be at peace would require me to meet and talk with you… know you… get a read on your spirit.  I am not saying that I will not bless this.  I am not saying that it should not happen until I have that peace.  I am saying that I do not have rest about this… it is a simple truth.  Sometimes, fathers have to trust the daughter… period!  I don’t have any other option but to do just that.

In Kingdom culture, “spiritual” young men who choose to honor a woman properly, seek the permission of parents before they date, court or propose marriage.  They explore the wisdom and advice of spiritual counselors before they court and develop relationships.  If you really want to seal the deal, find a way to express your willingness to become a “son” and then do something about that.  Remember, we want to love you too!

Also, let me encourage you to understand that my daughter is not your possession, property or mate until after you are married.  I will ask you to honor all purity in regards to sexuality until she is your wife.  I will hold you personally responsible of such and I will ask you directly about this.  It is important that you remain strong and proper in all context of this relationship.  She deserves you to be strong and you don’t have the right to  just take what you want.  For you to fail in this arena is an invitation to blockages that may take you years to untangle in your marriage.  She is worth the wait.  Prove your strength.   Proper covenant demands this.  The world thinks this is just ‘old fashioned’ and out of date.  It is not… it is Kingdom.


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seasoned speech

March 22, 2010 5 comments

You want me to do what?  How can this be?  I do believe I heard correctly and I am trying to honor what I believe the Lord has said to me about “loving” my president.  I did not vote for President Obama and I don’t necessarily agree with him politically on many issues, but I do love him.  I also love his wife and kids.  I am cautioned concerning my words about the man because if affects me directly about how I pray for him.  It feels like hypocrisy for me to pray for him and my country and then turn around and bad mouth him publicly!  The negative rhetoric, racial slurs and incessant bantering about the leader of our country is of no value to the overall condition of our country.  It CHANGES nothing.

I’m  familiar with scripture and I don’t remember reading anything from the mouth of Jesus that was remotely terse toward Caesar or any  governmental official in the system.  He knew full well how events towards the end of his life was going to end.  If anyone had the “right” to spew negative words towards Big Brother, it was Jesus.  But, He did not partake.

I wonder if we need to rethink our verbal projectiles?


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identity first

March 14, 2010 6 comments

Patti and I get lots and lots of face time and correspondence with young adults (most of them single). If you sit with any of them for very long, inevitably the discussion of marriage, prospects of marriage, opinions of marriage, hopes  of or the stiff-arm of marriage explodes to the surface like a Great White that has spotted an unsuspecting seal for dinner!   There are usually plenty of laughs, speculation and at times tears in these discussions, but it is very evident that marriage is still a hot topic in the hearts and minds of most young adults.  I think this is a VERY good thing.

Having been married 32 years to the same woman, (She was 18 and I was 19 when we got hitched.  I was ignorant, immature, naive, full of crap, real immature, narcissistic, clue-less, very immature, selfish, prideful, lost, totally immature, in lust and in love with that hot chick!  Oh…and off the charts immature.  I still can’t believe our parents signed-off on it.  It was crazy, but God came and we made it work!) we listen intently (the previous list warrants lots and lots of grace) and usually offer as much information as they want.  This generation seems to fall into  three categories:  The first, is a bit slower and more intent about getting their ducks in a row and having as many issues as possible resolved before committing to a long term relationship.  We chuckle at this because no amount of damage control on the front end will ward off the work required to make a marriage work.  I am not saying it is a waste! I’m just saying that it is NOT foolproof.  Marriage is work, a good work…but work nonetheless.  The second group, seems to be in a big hurry with the conception that marriage will fix everything.  I am conscious enough to know about body clocks, hormones, and the pleasure of God-given sexuality to know that it has to be very difficult to be 26 years old, in the best shape of your life and not have a mate to hammer out life with; all the while, trying to stay pure and honorable before the Lord!  As I have already mention, I was 19 years old when I married Ms Patti.  I’ve had a best friend and lover for a long time.  The third group is ready for marriage, but the right connections with the right person at the right time hasn’t happened yet.  These people are usually very content, happy in their singleness, but open to the whole prospects of having someone to do life with.

Usually where our counsel goes when someone is really aching to be married, is to focus in on the amount of peace they currently have on their life.  That peace is tied to their confidence in God’s ability and willingness to provide for what they desire and need.  It is also tied to stability in their own identity.  Many are scrambling around trying to figure out their value and self-hood in this life and too often it is just assumed that having a life partner (sorry, that sounds really gay) is the answer to all their questions.  We hear it all too much:  “All I need is_____!” Even if every friend you have is now married and you have a closet full of  hideous bridesmaid’s dresses  (ladies) or a drawer full of cheap key chains (guys), that doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s  “bidness time” and you’re ready to be married.  To complicate it even more, if a person knows what they want for a mate, but is unwilling to wait for “their special somebody” with those character qualities deemed most important naturally and spiritually, impatience kicks in and every little flaw in a premature  or “short-cutted” decision ends up being like a target for the enemy to torment with lies and propositions after the deed is done.  After a person is married and “in” covenant is not the time to have the discussions with internal doubt and the musing from hell concerning “did I do the right thing?” We’ve prayed with more than one person plagued with these thoughts…it is NOT kewl!

For an unmarried catholic priest, Richard Rohr O.F.M., points out our misconceptions like a champion bird dog:  “One of the big myths in our culture is that marriage is the answer to one’s problems.  Instead, I’m told, marriage reveals one’s problems.  The people who enjoy marriage are those who first have learned to live life itself.  You can’t create intimacy without identity.  Rather than being the save-all answer to problems, anyone who understands marriage knows it creates a whole set of new ones.  It makes us aware of a need to grow, a need to forgive, to share, to die.  Better to come into married commitment with some sense of those needs and an appreciation that their fulfillment is the work of a lifetime.  Marriage won’t always meet these needs; it puts the couple in a context for working together.  In that context, we learn our issues and problems–and we are given a partner to walk with through those problems.” from Richard’s book, The Spiritual Family and the Natural Family

Let me repeat the mother-lode ideal here:  YOU CAN’T CREATE INTIMACY WITHOUT IDENTITY!!!! Once you’ve found peace in who God has created you to be and what He says about you; and you can settle into a  calm contentment that comes in that “knowing”, THEN you are probably ready to give yourself away and serve your mate in a fashion that brings you and them great happiness and joy.   Intimacy from that place of peace is beyond description…it can only be experienced.  Trying to find completion of your own identity in the gifts, personality or calling of another person is sketchy at best. I say that because people don’t stay in one place.  We change over time.  It’s not that uncommon for me to notice my wife staring at me and to hear the words:  “Uh, honey, who are you?  Was there some kind of alien abduction while we slept last night?  Where is that other guy I’ve known…the one that was here yesterday?” I do the same thing to her… all the time!

We talk about transitions frequently with our spiritual community.  We see what happens to a  young man or woman in the eleven months that they serve on The World Race. Although we discourage it, some hang on to relationships back home while on the Race.  Those particular relationships  will have a drastic challenge when all the dust settles because a racer’s spiritual DNA changes so much while out on the field.  That means that identity changes, desire changes, spirituality changes, theology changes, community changes…it all changes!  That is a lot of stretching and being pulled through the knot-hole in one year!  It may not be that easy to see now, but it might just be a major blessing to not be married while all that demolition and reconstruction are taking place.  Again, we must journey back to the assurance of peace and contentment that “our” special somebody is out there and they may be stuck in their own little private knot-hole.   God might be doing me a huge favor in the delays.  Meanwhile, me working out “my stuff” with the lord probably has me “right on time” to truly get what I desire in the arena of eternal friendship , covenant and marriage.  HE knows where you are and HE knows what you want.  It is ok if it is not all falling into place today!

It is nearly impossible to discuss all the facets and tributaries of marriage.  The statistics and success ratios are not all that great in our culture, but Patti and I think that marriage is still a really good ideal.  It always has been a good ideal.  Maybe one of the best that God has ever had!  It is lots of work and requires abundant and graceful maintenance, but when the machine runs properly and efficiently, it’s quite a ride!  A great life!  The best!


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bumper stickers *revised*

March 11, 2010 Leave a comment

The “Got Milk?” ad people are ingenious!  I did a Google search on the campaign and the people that they’ve gotten to endorse the message is out of control!  Even Batman is in the loop.  They now have a website where you can order hats, bibs, posters and of course…bumper stickers.

Just like you, I see all kinds of bumper stickers.  Most of them are political.  Some are hilarious and every now and then you’ll get one that is just down-right inappropriate.  I cracked up a couple days ago by a sticker I saw on an old busted / rusted pick-up truck.  The driver was probably in his late 70s and  he had four dogs in the back of the truck checking out traffic.  The sticker read:  “MY BORDER COLLIE IS SMARTER THAN YOUR HONOR STUDENT”. I could not contain the laughter!   People in Colorado are crazy about their dogs.  Geez!

In all honesty, I abhor religious bumper stickers!  I’ve never seen one I like.  Even the displayed “ichthus” just rubs me the wrong way.   I don’t have the energy to explain to you why this kind of thing wears me out, but recently I had to run an errand a couple miles from the house.  I pulled up behind a vehicle that had this particular bumper-sticker proudly displayed on it’s back window:   “GOT JESUS?” *sigh* It’s all too common in the town where I now live, where I came from…just about everywhere.

Now, I will defend the right of that driver to display whatever they choose on their car, but I have a problem with the entire notion!  I had to stuff down all kinds of preconceived thoughts and judgements.  Was this a weak and ineffective (in my estimation) attempt to evangelize the masses and send a message?  Why?  Why send this message this way?  Why not LIVE the message, BE the message (Acts 1:8)?  I do not remember reading anything in scripture about Jesus OR his disciples carrying around a sign that said “Please receive ME, accept ME, take ME!  GOT ME?” He did “say” these kinds of things…sorta, but it was always with personal delivery, backed up by flesh, blood and Spirit.  I can not imagine anyone reading that bumper sticker and then having an internal discussion that leads to their ultimate decision to receive Jesus!   More disturbing I think, it just fuels lost people to dig in just an 1/8th of an inch deeper in the scoff and mockery of something that can not be explained without tangible love.  Maybe the goofy thing works (it just seems too shallow, too thin, too rigid, too religious…too frikk’n easy), but I have doubts about that.

The guys at NOOMA did a video call “Bullhorn” that takes issue with the same concern.  If you’re hung in religious performance and you don’t have “eyes to see”, it’s hard to imagine the ineffectiveness of your “well meaning” but sterile zealotry.  It is the normal  and bored expression of dead religion…period! There is nothing “alive” in it.  Much like Flick with his tongue iced to a flagpole, we get “stuck, stuck, STUCK!” by our traditions, religious notions and possible bad medicine from the pulpits we grew up around. I know that there were times that I’ve been guilty of promoting this dead religious fluff! Please forgive me!

Ok, some of you know me well enough to know that I NOW creep-out at this kind of stuff, but that is not my real point.  The bottom line here is that I think that the goofy bumper sticker is actually poising the wrong question!  I think the better question or the real question is this:  “DOES JESUS GOT YOU?” Yeah, my old High School English teacher just threw up in her mouth a little bit and maybe that is why I’m not in the advertising business, but it still is a good question that requires reflective inventory.  Too many people “got” Jesus, but I’m not too sure that Jesus or the Holy Spirit has all of us.  Maybe “some” of us, but “all” of us?  Does HE “have” my heart, my life, my family, my marriage, my finances, my hopes, my future, my dreams, my appetites, my fears, my body, my circumstances, my relationships, my kids, my work, my service, my worship, my friendships, me?  Does He “got” those things from us?   It’s the better question.   One that requires me to actually process with integrity and relentless honesty what the real stuff is in my life.  That’s the advertisement that I think HE approves of and endorses!  And PLEASE…don’t “Honk if you love Jesus!” A smile, a hug, a touch works a lot better.   Really it does!


planes, trains, hell

March 8, 2010 4 comments

I didn’t realize how bad it’s gotten.  The incessant whining about my personal discomfort on airplanes.  It dawned on me yesterday right after I had hit the “send” button on an online survey that American Airlines had sent me after our recent trip to Thailand.  Most of the questions were multiple choice and they provided the progression bar that shows you how close you are to finishing their survey.  I appreciate the heads up and constant awareness of how close I am to being done with what I agreed to do.  The last question of the survey was simple:  “Any comment you would like to offer to American Airlines about our service?” Oh man, finally!  Here was my opportunity to share my real thoughts.  So, I dumped my load:  “THE BOEING 777 USED IN THE AA FLEET, IS THE MOST MISERABLE PIECE OF FLYING MACHINERY EVER CREATED BY MAN!” I know what you’re thinking:  Geez Mike!  How do you really feel about it?  Who inserted the hot poker up your sewer pipe?

Once we get to a location to debrief a squad, I’m happy as a lark!  Being with the kids  on THE WORLD RACE quickly erases the torment, but the getting-to and getting-back from a trip overseas is “hell” for me.  I’m 6′ 5″ , I weigh too much and the coach lounge on most planes do not have “my” type body or frame in consideration when they started drilling the holes for the seat brackets.  The list of my grievances are too many to mention here.  It’s pathetic really.  “I’m” pathetic when it comes to these flying torture chambers.  We have Platinum status with American, but you have to either buy a certain kind of ticket for upgrade possibilities (more expensive) or buy the actual upgrade with miles and cash for overseas travel (it’s just crazy). So, until Bill Gates or Warren Buffet decide to begin their monthly support of ETI, none of those possibilities are going to happen any time soon.

One of my buddies who travels more than I do says, “I just go comatose.” He’ll try to sleep but for the most part, he just shuts it all down and just stares into nothingness.  He doesn’t eat, drink, stir…nothing.  He will read, but that’s  about it.  Another friend has two glasses of wine and pops an Ambien.  Gone!  Nite-nite sweet prince, but it doesn’t work for me.  I can barely get my legs into position in front of me on a plane.  Actually getting comfortable enough to even doze off (drug induced or not) just will not happen.  So, I’m the guy roaming the aisles on the plane while  the rest of you are napping.  Some of you are really scary when you sleep, so it’s a good thing you don’t have to see what I see when I’m on my nocturnal wanderings.   No, I don’t really have to pee that much, but it’s just something to do and it’s a change of scenery.  Yes sir, you bought the seat right in front of me and you do have the right to lean ALL the way back so you can sleep, but when you do that…I AM TOTALLY HOSED!   My number 11’s in the aisle  up near YOUR feet, are an indicator that “Houston, we have a problem!”  So, I usually just turn sideways with my feet in the aisle and sulk.   I know the flight attendants cuss me, constantly having to step over me, but I don’t have any other options.  Feeling sorry for me yet?  I told you…it’s pathetic.

Team 180 on “L” squad, just spent 24 hours on a train getting out of Vietnam.  Don’t make the mistake of picturing the cushy seating on Amtrak  or the trains in Europe.  Visualize a straight backed park bench for seating in the foyer at your  favorite backwoods County Courthouse.  Kelsi Dawe recorded the positives of this trip in a video.  It’s a fun video, but take a look and you’ll see what these racers sometimes endure in their travel schedule.  SEE KELSI’S VIDEO:  CLICK HERE. To be truthful, I have been convicted, <again>, about my attitude concerning my own little personal “hell” on airplanes.  I know Patti will read this and it will be her personal mission and  holy duty to help remind me, but I’m going to make a conscious effort to live in “thanks”, choose “joy” and stop all the murmuring about my personal discomfort while flying.  No one  enjoys sitting in coach while crossing the planet…NO ONE!  It’s just the price you pay to do the deal.  It’s the cost to be with our spiritual sons and daughters on the field.  You are invited to ask me when you see me.  I’m working on a right verbal response that reflects a real change in my head and heart.  *sigh* Help Me Jesus!



March 5, 2010 Leave a comment

Several years ago, I purchased a little book of short devotionals centered on faith compiled from various sermons given by Smith Wigglesworth.  One of the lessons deals with the following text:

James 1:5  But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all men generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him.  6 But let him ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea driven and tossed by the wind.  7 For let not that man expect that he will receive anything from the Lord, 8 {being} a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways. (NAS)

Smith’s approach is one that I had never really considered.  Of course God is “able” to meet every need and every desire.  Of course God responds to our faith.  Of course we are to pray and seek God’s involvement in our life.  The text does say, “Let him ask…!” But, Smith handled the text in a way that really opened my eyes to an aspect of faith that I think that the Body might be missing.  He takes the position that our asking over and over and over shows a “lack” of faith on our part.  Let me quote a bit here:

“I am satisfied that God, who is the builder of divine order, never brings confusion in His order.  If you want this divine order in your life, if you want wisdom, you have to come to God believing.  I want to impress upon you the fact that if you ask six times for anything, it shows you are an unbelieving person.  If you really believe, you will ask God only once, and that is all you need because He has abundance for your every need.  But if you go right in the face of asking once, and ask six times, He knows very well you do not mean what you ask, so you do not get it.  God does not honor unbelief.  He honors faith.  For example, if you ask God once for healing, you will get it.  But if you ask a thousand times a day till you forgot what you were asking, you’re not asking in faith.  If you would, ask God for your healing now, then begin praising Him.  He never breaks His promise.  You would go out perfect. `Only believe.’”  Excerpted: “Temptation Endured,” Bible study no 12, 12 July 1927, 10-11, Smith Wigglesworth on Faith, Creation House, 1996.

Wow!  In all my years of studying God’s Word, I never had really considered that angle.  I think it is right.  Too often my praying has been faithless because all I’ve done is ask without really believing…over and over and over again.  Bringing yesterday’s lesson back into focus, I think we have already been invited behind the counter.  We don’t have to peer into our blessing cabinet and tap the glass until God answers us.  He greets us at the door and we have all access to the storehouse.  Asking is necessary and it does magnify our faith in Whom we ask.  But we nullify our faith by not believing we have what we ask for.  Once we get this information into our spirit and it becomes reality to us, we will pray differently. I also think we need to re-evaluate who it is that is really doing the heavy lifting.  I think we’ve put a little too much emphasis on “our” part…which can be another form of work or performance.  I can’t see Him allowing us to capitalize on our works in this department.  Once we reduce it to our work, another religious formula, faith leaves the building like Elvis–big hair and all!  There is some mystery in all this.   I say it all the time:  God isn’t an ATM.  We can’t put in our card…push a few buttons…and get our desired miracle.  We are dealing with God here.

Lord, I want to exercise and grow my faith.   I want to believe what I’m asking for!  Thank you that you are faithful and nothing escapes Your attention.  I bless your Name today!  You are good!


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